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Bluefin and Surface Control advise how employers can respond to the latest health and safety sentencing guidelines through a web-based risk management and monitoring application. effective floor safety.

Slips and trips are the largest category of accidents in the workplace in the UK (around 30% of all recorded accidents), involving over 70,000 reported accidents and claims costing over half a billion pounds each year. Very few building custodians realise that the risks of slip accidents can be predicted, and so law breaches of safety in this area can be regarded as being exceptionally culpable unless proper preventative actions are in place. The sad thing is these accidents can be readily prevented in most cases.

Simple risk management control measures can markedly reduce slip and trip accident risk and so it is a no brainer to reduce costs and improve the bottom line. Hospitals, retail, transport, leisure and sporting facilities are particularly vulnerable, with slip accident costs of many millions of pounds annually.

The implication for those responsible for the safety of their employees and the general public are far reaching, particularly with respect to floor safety. Given also the additional threat from the reported rise of fraudulent claims, it is incumbent on employers, building custodians, facilities managers and cleaning companies to have suitable measures and reliable documentary evidence of compliance in place, to protect themselves and the public. It is legally required and self- evident that these measures should include effective monitoring.

So, what does effective compliance and monitoring entail?

Philippa Fitzmaurice, Senior Health and Safety manager at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, knew what she required to deliver


The Trust has worked in partnership with Surface Control since 2013, when the trust commissioned Surface Control to undertake a programme of risk assessments for floor safety at one of their major hospitals. Philippa commented: “When using the Floor Safety Compliance system from Surface Control, agreed test positions were measured and recommendations based on analysis of these readings were implemented and included; deep cleaning arrangements within the hospital streets and ward/ department entrances, dilution control for detergent, quick reaction spill management process and inspection and maintenance of barrier mats.”

By introducing digitally supported and effective risk management methods the number and severity of accidents can be shown to radically reduce. For many organisations this could have a significant impact on their insurance costs. One large retail organisation estimated that by using the Surface Control risk management and monitoring systems they could save over £8million a year on their accident claims budget.

This is why Bluefin, a UK insurance broker, in partnership with Surface Control, is offering integrated Floor Safety Risk assessment and monitoring products to their clients. Effective risk management has been shown by the Health and Safety Laboratories (HSL), to reduce slip accidents by some 50% or more, by having a reliable system which records information, increases the client’s defensibility from claims, and reduces the costs of claims administration. This approach is

similar in some ways to the increasing use of telematics by insurers of cars to reduce the car insurance coverage costs. Hitherto the insurance industry has been slow to adopt digital solutions to reduce claims risks. Bluefin’s partnership agreement with Surface Control is taking the first steps in applying a digital solution to another significant risk area in everyday life, namely slips and trips.

Rachel Phillips, Bluefin Business Development and Proposition Director, commented at the launch of the partnership with Surface Control: “At Bluefin we are looking to help our clients manage down their risk exposure. We chose Surface Control as one of our Risk Management partners because they focus on accident reduction, as well as increasing defensibility for our clients.”

By taking a more holistic approach, supported by effective use of simple to use low cost software applications integrated with monitoring devices, organisations can significantly reduce risks and hence the human costs of accidents. They can also provide a far more effective legal defence against claims whilst achieving a reduction in the financial costs of claims.

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